Keep An Eye Out For The Walking Dead’s Mid-Season Premiere (Spoilers Ahead)
The Walking Dead’s mid-season premiere entitled “No Way Out” is a straight up hour of white-knuckle tension and zombie mayhem. There wasn’t an atypical format to this premiere. No black and white flashbacks. No alternating time lines or focusing on one group’s perspective. No waiting to find out what happened to Daryl, Sasha and Abraham.
Hella satisfying is a good way to describe “No Way Out” which wrapped up a number of story lines with a bloody exclamation point. Jessie’s troublesome family are all dead. The deranged wolf is dead. And the episode’s centerpiece which began with Rick singled-handedly taking a hatchet to an undead horde put a definitive end to the walkers in Alexandria.
Where “No Way Out” stumbled is in some of the questionable character decisions made. Trusting Gabriel to take care of Judith when he can barely take care of himself is risky and to be honest pretty dumb. It would have made more sense to have Carl go with Judith and Gabriel but the writers needed to set up Carl getting shot in the eye by a stray bullet.
As for Jessie, she shouldn’t have let her child Sam call the shots to join the grown ups’ mission. Then again, it wouldn’t be much of an episode if characters made sensible decisions which would have meant that the surreal domino effect of Sam dying, then Jessie, and finally older brother Ron impaled by Michonne wouldn’t have happened.
The other weak spot is there wasn’t enough chemistry between Glenn and Enid to pull off the speech in the church about “They’re still here because you’re still here”. There’s nothing wrong with the sentient and the writers did need to flesh out why Enid would risk her life to help Maggie when she barely wanted to come back to Alexandria in the first place, it’s just one of a few clunky scenes that bogged down the pace.
Despite all the bloody carnage, “No Way Out” had a lingering feeling of hope for a number of reasons. None of the core characters died and I’m glad that Abraham didn’t get shot by Negan’s henchman. While Carl is maimed, he’ll live to see another day (no pun intended). The rocket launcher kill by Daryl is both awesome and amusing. The deranged wolf turned a new leaf, or least that’s how it came across. And Glenn proves he has more than nine lives, getting rescued at the last second and not by a dumpster.
That optimistic feeling is also in the way everyone worked together to fight off the zombies. Daryl saving the day yet again, although it was very convenient how some of the walkers went into the flaming fuel-filled water.
I also like how Rick is in a constant state of evolution. He went from almost losing his mind again (ie. going to town on the zombies by himself) then extremely hopeful at Carl’s bed side. After so much death and destruction, he believes in a vision of rebuilding Alexandria into something great. This is a direction that will help shape future story lines and keep the character from feeling too stale.
Aside from some weak points, “No Way Out” is a solid way to kick off the second half of season 6. By the episode’s mid-point things got very crazy and in a way was a cathartic final stretch after leaving so many cliffhangers before the mid-season break. Like with any action-packed premiere, there are typically some slower, character centric episodes to follow. Let’s hope the Negan story line is going to keep things consistently exciting.
What do think about the mid-season premiere? What do you think about Carl getting shot in the eye?